Opiate withdrawal refers to the wide range of symptoms that occur after stopping or dramatically reducing opiate drugs after heavy and prolonged use (several weeks or more).
Opiate drugs include heroin, morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, methadone, and others.
Withdrawal from opioids; Dopesickness
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
About 9% of the population is believed to misuse opiates over the course of their lifetime, including illegal drugs like heroin and prescribed pain medications such as Oxycontin.
These drugs can cause physical dependence. This means that a person relies on the drug to prevent symptoms of withdrawal. Over time, greater amounts of the drug become necessary to produce the same effect.
The time it takes to become physically dependent varies with each individual.
When the drugs are stopped, the body needs time to recover, and withdrawal symptoms result. Withdrawal from opiates can occ...
There has been a lot of news lately about medication overuse headaches (MOH) that may be linked to those of us who have chronic headaches each month. Do you think taking a 50mg tablet of Tramadol daily (for fibromyalgia) could be enough to cause MOH? Peggy.
Some patients can take tramadol daily without getting into a medication overuse headache. For others, that 50mg a day could cause MOH. If the tramadol IS causing you MOH, it should be relieved when you take the tramadol.
This is a rock-and-a-hard-place problem for people who have both headache and pain issues. Sadly, there's no good solution for it.
Good luck, John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column, browse the Ask the Clinician archives .
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Treatment The withdrawal from cocaine may not be as unstable as withdrawal from alcohol. However, the withdrawal from any chronic substance abuse is very serious. There is a risk of suicide or overdose. Symptoms usually disappear over time. People who have cocaine withdrawal will often use alcohol, sedatives, hypnotics, or antianxiety medications such as diazepam (Valium) to treat their symptoms. Use of these drugs is not recommended because it simply shifts addiction from one substance to another. At least half of all people addicted to cocaine also have a mental disorder (particularly depression and attention-deficit disorder). These conditions should be suspected and treated. When diagnosed and treated, relapse rates are dramatically reduced. All prescription drug use should be monitored carefully in patients who abuse substances. Support Groups The 12-step support groups, such as Cocaine Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, have helped many people addicted to cocaine. Alternative groups s...
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